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The KhoeSan
(Page 2)
The San
The San encamped under rock overhangs in the mountains or in small camps in dry areas. It is clear they lived in the mountain ranges just north of Cape Town until the nineteenth century.

They lived in small nomadic 'bands', numbering between 20 and 80 people, consisting of several family groups.

The women foraged around the camp for food, gathering bulbs (especially those of Arum lilies), roots, stalks and fruits. They also made clothes from skins sewn with catgut.


The men made bows and arrows, coating the tips with the venom of snakes and poisonous plants, and hunted antelope. It appears that they conducted religious ceremonies in preparation for a hunt, with a shaman entering a trance and his experiences recorded in rock art. The Eland is often represented and seems to have been a recurring theme in their mysticism.

Musical instruments were also made by the San, and European explorers testified to their skill in playing them. Men also gathered the favourite San delicacy - wild honey.

For more on the San see Peoples.

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Heritage Sections
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In this period of Cape History:

Overview

Introduction

The San

The Khoekhoe

Bibliography & Contacts










 


 
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